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Tape Shows Motorist Beaten Outside Police Station

Thu., Feb. 20, 1997

A police camera videotaped the beating of a motorist who said he didn’t stop for Hartford police because he was afraid of them and drove to a suburban police station instead.

Ten seconds of the encounter between James Wilson and three Hartford police officers were captured on videotape in front of the station before Bloomfield officers intervened and took Wilson into custody.

Patricia Davis of Bloomfield, whose office is across the street, said the beating seemed to last “for three or four minutes,” and that she and several co-workers had begged the officers to stop.

“There were a dozen of them just standing there, watching,” she said Wednesday. “It was awful.”

Hartford Deputy Police Chief James O. Berry said he was upset by what he saw on the tape, which was made by a camera mounted on a Bloomfield police cruiser. The videotape was turned over to prosecutors for a criminal investigation.

Wilson, 37, of Southwick, Mass., spent the night in the hospital after his Friday arrest on reckless driving and other charges.

Wilson was arrested after a three-mile, 60 mph chase that began in Hartford when he refused an order to pull over. City police believed he was circling in a known drug neighborhood. Wilson said he was lost.

When Wilson realized Hartford police were following him, he fled because he thought the city’s officers had a reputation for being violent, his attorney Christopher Bromson said.


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